Welcome to the first ever VIRTUAL, masterclass version of I WAKE UP DREAMING— the historic, annual San Francisco film noir festival, returning to The Roxie and being re-dubbed I WAKE UP STREAMING to help recognize this new way of mass engagement at the film noir level.
I WAKE UP STREAMING 2020 is designed to provide those of you who have missed the interesting human interaction that can often result from the types of film events once commonplace at the Roxie – a chance to revisit those experiences in the safety and comfort of your own digs. This series of masterclasses (which will consist of 6 open discussions amongst participants on the films in question) will hopefully remind those with a firm grip on the past, just how stimulating a well-seasoned double-bill of uncommonly choice film noir can be!

For six TUESDAY evenings (October 13 – November 24; no session on Election Night, November 3) the Roxie will host a 60-90 minute ZOOM session (starts at 7PM PST) with your host and curator, I Wake Up Dreaming’s founder, Elliot Lavine. A pair of links will have been provided in advance to the two films that comprise that week’s program, giving everyone at least a week to watch the films and think about how they might like to engage in a free-form ZOOM discussion about them! SIX UNBELIEVABLY SENSATIONAL NOIR FILMS DOUBLE FEATURES!! TWELVE GREAT FILMS! Think about it! Films you never tire of! People you probably haven’t seen in a while might be there and you’ll be able to hang out and chat with them! See old friends! Make new ones! Help the Roxie!

Ticketing information

Class registration is sliding scale $5-$20 (proceeds directly support the Roxie) and free for Roxie Members. If you would like to access the whole series of discussions for free (plus many more exclusive perks), you can sign up for a Roxie Virtual Membership for $30 here. If you do not receive member ticketing information after signing up, please email [email protected]

What you get with your ticket: Each ticket grants you access to the Zoom discussion for 1 pair of films, as well as links to supplemental reading and materials. We will provide access to the film links one week in advance in order to encourage viewing closer to the discussion, however, the films can be found through public domain.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.


Past Shows

Tuesday, October 13th – Scarlet Street and Detour

Our first program will consist of SCARLET STREET (1945), Fritz Lang’s unforgettable masterpiece of deception and desire starring Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea. 99 mins.

And DETOUR (also 1945), Edgar G. Ulmer’s notorious “poverty row” masterpiece that for many serves as the very template for film noir. Doom, despair, death. Tom Neal and Ann Savage are the stars. 69 mins.

Tuesday, October 20th – HOLLOW TRIUMPH (1948) and THE PRETENDER (1947)

This week our incredible I WAKE UP STREAMING double-decker features a pair of pictures photographed by cinematographer extraordinaire, JOHN ALTON.

HOLLOW TRIUMPH (aka THE SCAR), a low-budget classic released through Eagle-Lion in 1948 is a brutally hard-boiled noir made even more dramatically vivid via Alton’s beautifully expressive camera. This twisted tale of Fate incorporates virtually every film noir trope into its brief running time and emerges as one of the most under-appreciated noirs of the late 40s. Directed by B-film veteran Steve Sekely, but it’s often been speculated that star / producer Paul Henreid directed a good bit of it. Joan Bennett co-stars, and rather magnificently. 83 minutes. Black & White.

THE PRETENDER, from 1947, is a remarkable poverty-row noir that almost defies description. A corrupt financier finds himself the accidental target of the killer he himself has hired to do the job. But just who is the killer, and can he be stopped in time? This no-budget film might not be remembered at all if not for John Alton’s spellbinding cinematography. The ongoing presence of a theremin adds considerably to the overall dreamlike quality of this highly unusual film. Starring Albert Dekker, Catherine Craig, Linda Stirling, and Alan Carney. Directed by W. Lee Wilder, the older and far less famous brother of Billy. 69 minutes. Black & White.

Tuesday, October 27th – OPEN SECRET (1948) and M (1951)

Hello and welcome back to I WAKE UP STREAMING 2020!! This week, as we stare down at election day, we’ll be looking at a pair of socially conscious dramas that tackle issues that in many ways continue to resonate in this country to this very day. Our first film in this power-packed, explosive double-feature will be M, the 1951 re-make of the classic 1931 film by Fritz Lang. This version, released by Columbia Pictures, was directed by Joseph Losey, at the time a very promising young director with a small handful of powerful, controversial films already to his credit. But by the end of 1951, Losey would find himself BLACKLISTED because of his politically radical views and forced to leave the country in order to continue his career as a film director.

Your supporting feature is OPEN SECRET, a 1948 low-budget film noir with a stark and serious subtext: antisemitic hate groups infiltrating a small American town. An excellent B film and, despite being produced in the late 40s, it bears a strong resemblance to many of the grittier, socially conscious noir films of the 50s.

Tuesday, November 10th – THE CHASE (1946) and DEMENTIA (1953)

Greetings, and welcome back to I WAKE UP STREAMING 2020 – this week featuring a pair of fractured features that dare to walk that dangerous tightwire that spans reality and non-reality, in other words: pure film noir. Our first film will be THE CHASE, a 1946 B noir, directed by Hollywood eccentric Arthur Ripley and, perhaps even more important, derived from a novel by Cornell Woolrich, practically the inarguable Godfather of Noir.

Our second film of the evening is the even stranger DEMENTIA, from 1953. This film has had a very complicated history since first appearing in 1953 and should provide you with the requisite amount of creepiness…

Tuesday, November 17th – D.O.A. (1950) and THE HITCH HIKER (1953)

Our double-feature this week is a potent offering with a pair of heavy hitters starring Edmond O’Brien. But this great, stalwart actor is not the only thing of interest here, as we well soon find out.

Your co-feature, D.O.A. is a bona fide classic in its own right. The film offers what might well be the most clearly delineated expression of the grim fatalism of film noir. Those of who have seen this film will immediately catch that drift. Those who are new to D.O.A. are in for a penetrating experience, making this double-feature a brutally entertaining romp on the dark end of the park.

The Last Show!

Tuesday, November 24th – THE BIG COMBO (1955) and FEMALE JUNGLE (1956)

Welcome back to our final program on this season’s I WAKE UP STREAMING festival of film noir!

It should be abundantly clear by now that we’ve crash-landed in a nasty, gritty urban-centric world full of films calibrated to titillate with equal doses of craven sexuality and casual and often extreme violence. This reaches a thrilling boiling point in our next and final stunning double-feature, THE BIG COMBO, director Joseph H. Lewis’ spectacular and bombastic 1955 film noir opus and FEMALE JUNGLE, Bruno Ve Sota’s semi-obscure piece of exotica.